UPDATE: Williamson County cancels events to encourage social distancing

Williamson County issues order limiting mass gatherings of more than 50 due to coronavirus concerns March 16. (Ali Linan/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County issues order limiting mass gatherings of more than 50 due to coronavirus concerns March 16. (Ali Linan/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Williamson County issues order limiting mass gatherings of more than 50 due to coronavirus concerns March 16. (Ali Linan/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Update 6 p.m. March 16

Williamson County has implemented measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the cancellation of several county events so far, according to a March 16 news release .

The canceled events are:


  • The ribbon cutting for the San Gabriel Ranch Bridge over Lackey Creek near Liberty Hill which was scheduled for March 17.

  • The Williamson County Expo Center has canceled all reserved and scheduled events. Staff will re-evaluate events scheduled after April 12 every Monday and update accordingly, the release said.

  • The Southwest Williamson County Regional Park has canceled all softball, soccer and cricket league practices and games.

  • The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department canceled all pavilion rental reservations with a group size of 50 or more at the Southwest Williamson County Regional Park, Champion Park and Berry Springs Park and Preserve.

  • Learn How to Fish, the county's annual free family event has been postponed and will be held at a later date.

  • Vern's No Frills 5K held every third Saturday of the month in Berry Springs Park and Preserves has been canceled for March 21.

  • The Williamson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Summer Youth Resource Fair scheduled for April 14 has been canceled.


Earlier:

Williamson County issues order prohibiting mass gatherings of more than 50

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell has issued an order stating community gatherings of 50 people or more anywhere in Williamson County have been prohibited for the next eight weeks to slow the transmission of the novel coronavirus, according to March 16 news release.


Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ban on public or private gatherings takes effect 6 p.m. Monday, March 16, and will continue until Monday, May 11, unless otherwise extended or terminated by the judge or by action of the Williamson County Commissioners Court, the release said.

“Williamson County is dedicated to keeping all of our people safe and healthy. Extraordinary measures had to be taken in order to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus in Williamson County, potentially overwhelming our healthcare system,” Gravell said in the release. “In Williamson County, we are dedicated to being prepared, not scared."

The order specifically states large events or mass gatherings such as conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies of 50 people or more would not be allowed in Williamson County. In addition, organizers are encouraged to cancel or postpone in-person large events or mass gatherings that consist of 50 people or more, the release said. The county stated events with fewer than 50 people could only continue if organizers adhere to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene and social distancing.

The order does not apply to the day-to-day operations of organizations such as daycare facilities, schools, institutes of higher learning, private sector businesses and public sector business, the release said.

"The Williamson County and Cities Health District consistently follows CDC guidance with regard to COVID-19, including their recommendations for limiting mass gatherings to less than 50 people,” said Dr. Lori Palazzo, medical director of the Williamson County Health Authority, in the release. “Social distancing is an important method for reducing the spread of disease, including COVID-19. You can empower yourself by practicing social distancing and these basic prevention methods:”